Snub Pollard was a slapstick comedian best known for his part in the Keystone Kops series of pie-throwing, automobile-chasing slapstick on the silent screen.
He later successfully made the transition to television.
Pollard, whose real name was Harold Frazer, was a native of Melbourne, Australia. He was a choirboy of 10 when he got his first stage experience with the Pollard Juvenile Opera Co., a traveling company that brought him to the United States.
A slender man, Pollard made the walrus mustache and derby hat his trademark in hundreds of performances, from the old silent-movie era and vaudeville to appearances in later years on television.
His first Hollywood part was as a bit player with Broncho Billy Anderson in 1915, and he went on to play in the Keystone Kops series. He also played with such famed comics as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. They ground out hundreds of “one-reeler” and “two-reeler” movies and numerous full-length features in later years.
His more than 200 movies included “Ex-Flame,” “The Gentleman From Louisiana,” “Headin’ for the Rio Grande” and “Arizona Days.”
But Pollard did not quit comedy when the silent-screen era faded out. He was active until shortly before his death, taking small parts in a wide variety of television shows and occasionally in movies. His last movie before his death was “Pocketful of Miracles” with Glenn Ford.
Some of his old-time movies were repeated on television as “Snub Pollard Comedies.”
Asked a few years before his death about comedy then as compared to the slapstick era, Pollard said: “Comedy hasn’t changed much in the last 39 years. When sound arrived in pictures, a new type of comedian was born, but, basically, comedy today is very similar to comedy four decades ago. I go back to 1915. Things we did then to make people laugh are still being done today. Of course, the gags are up to date. But timing and facial expressions are as important now as they were then.”
His death came the same day that 11 of the men who played in the famed Keystone Kops series of the silent-film period held a reunion in Beverly Hills.